Lucky by Marissa Stapley, published by Simon & Schuster (7 Dec. 2021). @simonschuster #review #blog #writingcommunity

Book Description:

REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A thrilling roller-coaster ride about a heist gone terribly wrong, with a plucky protagonist who will win readers’ hearts.

What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity–when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved–whose dark past is catching up with her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, multilayered character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest…before her luck runs out.

REVIEWS:

“An electric story about an unconventional heroine who is on the run from her past with a winning lottery ticket that could change her future forever. But here’s the catch . . . she can’t cash it in! I loved all the twists and turns of this adventure, not knowing where Lucky was going to end up next.”
— REESEWITHERSPOON

“[A] rollicking road-trip novel . . . With Lucky’s traumatic childhood with her conman father revealed in flashbacks, it’s no wonder the TV rights were sold to Disney with Stapley tapped to write the pilot. . . . This book club pick will no [doubt] lead to lively debates on duplicity, truth, luck, nature vs. nurture in child-rearing, and how to spot a con from a mile away.”
— Zoomer

“A compelling and thrilling road-trip novel about a talented grifter whose past comes back to haunt her.”
— 49th Shelf

“A criminal with a winning lottery ticket scrambles to elude arrest in this thrilling adventure. . . . Stapley raises the stakes through Lucky’s increasingly desperate moves while adding depth via flashbacks to Lucky’s childhood, which was full of scams and disappointments, and through Lucky’s gradual reckoning with the truth. This page-turner packs in more than its share of heart.”
— Publishers Weekly

Lucky by Marissa Stapley is a pacey read, taking you inside the life of grifters Luciana (Lucky) Armstrong and her father. It alternates between past and present, from when Lucky was left outside a nunnery in New York City in 1982, to present day in a gas station bathroom in Idaho, where she changes her appearance and name, and buys a winning lottery ticket.

Leaping back to aged 10 and her life in the Adirondacks, things aren’t so easy for Lucky. Her father is a con artist, always on the run and never putting down roots. Although the “running” is adrenaline-filled, it is not the life Lucky wants. Nor does she enjoy bilking people to get where they need to go. Imprisoned by the grifter life-style, she searches for a way out, only to find she falls back into the routine as a means to an end. Lying comes naturally because it’s all she’s ever known. But everything is about to crash, and she begins to question all the things she trusted to be true. Who is she, really?

With a father who can spin a believable yarn and get away with it, Lucky is out of luck. She must find out who she is and where she came from in order to bring closure to her journey. This is what kept me reading until the early hours. I wanted her to succeed, but the safety of the lottery ticket was an agonizing burden. The more impossible the mission, the more invested I became in the book.

For me, this was a fun read. Even though you see Cary, Lucky and her father through their dialogue — their past, and their points of view — I did crave a little more detail in order to breach the many layers of these stimulating and compelling characters. It’s a Bonnie and Cyde caper, for sure. The ending wrapped up nicely, and overall, I really enjoyed it. The paperback is short, only about 256 pages, and the writing style is informal and concise. It’s unputdownable and I can see why it is a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub Pick.

About the author:

An image posted by the author.

Marissa Stapley is an award-nominated journalist and the bestselling author of the novels Mating for Life (2014), Things to Do When It’s Raining (2018) and The Last Resort (2019), which is an Oprah Magazine, New York Post, US Weekly and Parade Magazine favourite. Her writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across North America, including the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, Elle and Today’s Parent. She has taught creative writing and editing at the University of Toronto and Centennial College. She lives in Toronto with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @marissastapley or like her page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MarissaStapleyAuthor/) for updates and contests!

Other books by Marissa Stapley:

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